Dr. Abdul Ruff Colachal
This write up is not meant to praise batboys or cricket but to highlight an incident that changed entire cricket scenario for the hopeless Pakistani players playing the Champions Trophy in England and the team might even get the champion title this year. All teams want 100s for their batboys and they exchange them freely. The countries have no shame if their teams lost. They ask them to play more and get more 100s. State agents play fouled games too. No team is genuine and no cricketer is honest or worth. They all want money and awards and compote mafias help them “achieve” anything they want. . .
It has been the nasty practice of poor cricket commentators to praise and glorify the batboys and they have never asked the ICC boys to amend the rules to make the cricket matches truly competitive by making bowlers the centre of activities and cancel free runs in 4s and 6s. Let the young batboys make their runs only running between wickets instead of depending on bowlers help to throw free balls for 6s and 4s. That is indeed cheating the public, and countries with mafias playing secret roles in arranging for 100s and 200s etc, and pitch makers to make strong pro-batboy pitches so that bowlers should suffer and batboys just keep hitting big and big ones.
And the foolish and empty headed spectators just keep clapping, while the cricket commentators shower bogus praises on the batboy frauds. The corporate regimes promote frauds and cricketers loot the national awards and huge money. .
No country, no bowler, no coach has so far questioned the illogical approach of ICC in promoting only the batboys against the genuine interests of bowlers who are bought or hired to help the pathetic and greedy batboys to snatch national awards and money. They have not asked for a balanced pitch so that both batboys and bowlers make maximum out of them.
Pakistan bowler Aamir was instrumental in making his team worthwhile one and he has, coming to the crease after 7 wickets gone and Pakistani supporters and the players had lost all hopes, led his cricket team successfully from uncertainty to semi-final to final of Champions Trophy 2017 as Pakistan made their way to their first-ever Champions Trophy final.
Generally, Pakistan wants only batboys to win the match and not the bowlers, whose job then is just to bowl the opponent batboys to good score so that Pakistani batboys also could get some good runs like 50 and 100. In doing so, they must like actors do, pretend they are trying hard for wickets. The same thing Bangladeshi bowlers did playing against Indian batboys Koli and Sharma whose bating was deadly hopeless and they were among the worst batboys bought by Indian corporate lords to promote Indian cricket boys.
Pakistan have now climbed one spot to number 7 in the latest ICC Men’s One Day International (ODI) rankings on the back of a series of stunning victories against England, Sri Lanka and South Africa in the Champions Trophy. Pakistan has now reached the final of the tournament, where they will play against the winner of the second semi-final of the tournament between India and Bangladesh.
Pakistani medicine for England
On June 14 Pakistan surprisingly stormed their way into CT 2017 final with a thumping win over a strong team England. None could see Pakistan in the final in the past. Pakistan chose the most apt occasion and opposition to unleash their best bowling performance to bowl out hosts England for just 211 in 49.5 overs. Pakistan pacers started brightly, the spin troika applied the choke through the middle and a fine display of death bowling meant England had no way out of the maze they found themselves in. Such was Pakistan’s grasp on the game that the flamboyant, ever-exploding Ben Stokes earned an ignominious statistic to his name – of having faced most number of balls (64) in a Champions Trophy game without scoring a boundary.
First upon winning the toss Pakistan chose to field and did a wonderful job of restricting English to a bare minimum score. Pakistan bowlers shut out England for 211 and then it easily won the match when the batboys played very seriously without losing wickets in usual runouts, though they should have avoided going for a third run in a hurry when they were winning with many overs remaining and there is no need for quick third run only to lose wickets. .
Cricket fans all go by reputation and current form and when a team proves that wrong, it only adds to the beauty of the game. So full credit to Pakistan for proving millions wrong! As far as England is concerned, they would feel that it just was not their day. Their wait for a 50-over trophy continues. Nothing went right for them. They lost the toss and never got going. They would take heart from the fact that they were the favourites for as long as they played in this tournament. Can now sit back, contemplate and enjoy the two games that remain.
Pakistan booked their place in the Champions Trophy final with a crushing eight-wicket win over England in Cardiff on
Wednesday. Set just 212 to win, Pakistan finished on 215 for two. Pakistan will now face title-holders India in Sunday’s final at the Oval. Azhar Ali (76) and Fakhar Zaman (57) all but ended previously unbeaten tournament hosts England’s slim hopes of victory with an opening stand of 118. But the real damage was done when England collapsed to 211 all out after Pakistan Captain Sarfraz Ahmed sent them in to bat on a used pitch.
None can change the truth that at Semi level Pakistan played with a lot of heart and they were clearly the best side, never allowed England to flourish. Once again after a year or so, they came on top against England at Cardiff.
It appeared as if they were willingly stepping onto a landmine when Sarfraz Ahmed decided a Mohammad Amir-less Pakistan would bowl first on a surprisingly warm, sunny day, and on what appeared to be a dry Cardiff wicket, against England’s deep batting line-up. Junaid Khan nearly vindicated the move in the very first over, only for the contentious umpire’s call on LBWs to deny Pakistan an early breakthrough. Debutant Rumman Raees blended in well into Pakistan’s bowling plans, that appeared to revolve around frustrating Alex Hales with a straighter liner and length and didn’t allow the England opener to dominate early – something he has rather enjoyed doing in the 50-over format in recent times. Hales’s urge for a big hit earned Raees his maiden ODI scalp in just the sixth over. But merely a breakthrough wasn’t going to serve Pakistan’s purpose of restricting a formidable batting side, as Jonny Bairstow and Joe Root took the hosts to a familiar 52 for 1 in 10 overs.
Sarfraz’s next trump card was to employ spin from both ends and get both Imad Wasim and Shadab Khan to run through the overs, by starving the batsmen of any room with flat trajectories. The move laid the perfect trap as Bairstow saw the need to get on top of the new pacer brought into attack – Hasan Ali – and ended up top-edging a pull to the square leg fielder.
Morgan’s hope to be a bit adventurous was undone by the fact that he was struggling to read leg spinner Shadab, who was smartly brought back for another spell after Morgan’s arrival. The partnership between Morgan and Root was building but hardly at a pace they’d have liked, as Shadab and Hafeez strangled England further.
England still had what they could call a decent start when Eoin Morgan walked out to bat, but a period of lull during his partnership with Root followed straightaway. Stokes’s arrival with a little over 20 overs to play meant there was still room for England to snatch the game away from Pakistan’s grasp, but Hasan and Junaid Khan came back and foiled that attempt. The former ended Morgan’s odd stay in the middle – the England captain striking at under 70 but constantly appearing to be living on the knife’s edge. Hasan bowled one wide and Morgan danced down for a heave, only to nick it to Sarfraz for a 53-ball 33. England eventually crawled to 211 – a clear underachievement considering their batting stocks – before being bowled out on the penultimate delivery of the innings. But the score 211 was not bad but certainly not a cakewalk in a pressure game. However, the Pakistani openers had different plans. Before England could realize and delve into the bag for plans B and C, half the target was erased.
England captain Eoin Morgan, who made 87 in a win against Australia last time out, fell for 19 when he charged down the pitch to a wide ball from Hasan and edged behind. Stokes, fresh from his career-best 102 not out against Australia, took 64 balls to score a 34 that, remarkably for the usually big-hitting all-rounder, did not include a single boundary. He eventually holed out to cover when deceived by Hasan’s slower ball.
Pakistan belied their reputation as a poor fielding side, with Fakhar holding a brilliant diving catch at deep square leg to dismiss Moeen Ali, while substitute Ahmed Shehzad ran out Rashid with a direct hit.
On a Cardiff ground where they chased more than 300 to beat England in an one-day international last year, Pakistan completed Wednesday’s pursuit with a mammoth 77 balls to spare when Mohammad Hafeez pulled Ben Stokes for four. England did avoid a 10-wicket defeat when Jos Buttler stumped Fakhar off leg-spinner Adil Rashid and Azhar too fell before the finish, pulling Jake Ball into his stumps. But Pakistan had the game all but won at 173 for two.
India thrashed Pakistan by 124 runs in the teams’ Champions Trophy tournament opener at Edgbaston on June 4. But three days later Pakistan returned to the Birmingham ground to make a mockery of the rankings by beating South Africa
in a bottom versus top clash. Pakistan then held their nerve in a three-wicket win over Sri Lanka in Cardiff— a virtual quarter-final for both sides. England didn’t manage a single individual fifty in their innings. Joe Root top-scored with 46 and Yorkshire team-mate Jonny Bairstow, recalled in place of dropped opener Jason Roy, managed 43. Rumman Raees, in for injured fellow left-arm quick Mohammad Amir, took two for 44 on his ODI debut. England, who were 128 for two, lost their last eight wickets for just 83 runs.
ICC does not want to make cricket a genuine sport and refuses a rule to deny multiple choices for the cricketers. Now batboys can bowl as well and so are the bowlers who also bat if the batboys do not get enough runs, they would be given extra runs to make their bating claims. Unlike India and other cricket nations, Pakistan doe s not make the bowlers to practise bating as well and as a result they don’t stay at the crease for long and throw away their wickets cheaply.
It is here that bowler Aamir’s role as the needy stabilizer came into light. Instead of throwing away his wicket by trying to hit a big six, he stood firmly and patiently at the crease and helped the fellow batboys to win the match for Pakistan. Had he also fell, other two bowlers would not waste much time at the crease and Pakistan would not have come to semi or final.
Bangladesh as Indian shield
So, Indian show was preplanned between the I-BD teams and India wanted to win with better position than Pakistan did against the mighty England which was hoping to get the Trophy this year and Bangladesh gave India a helping hand by not taking the second wicket.
Most likely, Bangladesh would reap a lot Indian benefits for their timely “service” to Indian team. Certainly, they would receive more than fishing boats or Indian goods. After thrashing BD, Indian batboy Sharma was telling something to BD bowler, may be about the Indian favors for Dhaka. Not bad. Bangladesh has more poverty than India has.
Media said that Bangladesh have once again “defied” odds and pushed limits to set-up a clash against their neighbours. That may not be correct. BD was promoted by India through its allies like New Zealand to let Bangaldeshi boys win and come to Semi where India would finish them off in its “own way” and reach the final to face England. But unfortunately now India will have to face the Pakistani music where they like it or not.
Behind the scene
After the quiet surrender in Semi-final by Bangladesh before India (read Pranab Mukherjee, the Bengali president of India), India is so sure now that Pakistan would help Indian team by understanding Indian requirements for awards. India would even bully Pakistani team to help India in exchange for their chances for next Indian blackmoney-gambling show called IPL or for Indo-Pakistani series in India which India has been postponing, etc.
Apparently, India has crudely fixed both Bangladesh and Pakistan in such a way they cannot just ignore Indian demands and “desires”. If Pakistan refuses to oblige the big brother, Indian would call it a terrorist nations and ask USA to discard it form the strategic partner list. Bangladesh, which is treated by India as a backyard assistant or servant, readily obliges New Delhi in all possible ways- It was Bangladesh which gave a last 100 to Sachin, who had been standing at the crease for nearly two long years to get his final 100 that made India corporatist regime go mad, to enable him to claim Bharatratna. (It is Himalayan shame that a few 100s amassed by him on mutual understating with other cricket nations and arranged through the mafia gangs on huge down payments.
Had Bangladesh won, Pakistan would certainly have enjoyed the match with a sweet win. But India s not Bangladesh as its bowlers are good though its batboys are very mediocre but can enjoy if bowlers are mediocre or fools.
Pakistan has exemplified the statement in this tournament thus far. They were mediocre against India but kept predictability at bay, recovered and, with a bit of luck, bumped into the mighty England. Paceman Hasan Ali led a disciplined attack with a superb return of three for 35 from his maximum 10 overs. That was it.
The final show
The devil knows all tricks and India and its BCCI has mastered a few of them and can create panic situation to its opponents by not giving runs, thereby reducing the run rate whichi n turn causes runouts and wickets and collapse of the team. Pakistan is prone to runouts just for fun as they did against India recently. India must have studied every Pakistani batboy and bowler thoroughly before reaching London for the tournament. What about Pakistan? Little practicing I just one thing but more important item is thorough knowledge about the opponent skills and weaknesses.
Winning or losing a match is not that important as cricket is a totally farce. But Pakistan must take the Trophy fight very seriously to win it; otherwise Indian win would mean Indian military occupying Kashmir to take the win as a nod from Islamabad to kill Kashmiri Muslims in a sustained manner while Indian core media glorify murder as patriotism. Indian Hindus create problems for Muslims in Kashmir during the Indo-Pakistani matches, calling them Pakistanis just for terror fun.
Sadistic pleasure makes India shine abnormally.
All said and done, due credit must be given to England that like other teams lie Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, etc, accept their defeat if their batboys do not get 100s or 5os while bating first and its bowlers then won’t be reckless to somehow win as they would just promote the “winning team”.
UK is a big sports power and it does not depend on cricket matches, though cricketism is important to them as they had invented cricket to fool the youth of colonies like India. England was totally disillusioned that it deemed its defeat through their facial expressions. But India won’t be like that kind and would never accept until last ball is bowled. .
India thinks Indo-Bangla show would be taken seriously. Now India is sure of defeating Pakistan as it has already thrashed once here. After the India game, Pakistan improved a lot. The credit goes to the team management how they boosted the tam and its cohesiveness. Every game was a knockout game. Today as well they told us to not think about the match and just play the natural game. That helped us. Both teams are playing really well, all the best to them (India and Bangladesh).
Pakistan should know India wants to win the trophy and it wants to thrash Pakistan so that the entire nation of ultra fanatics celebrates that as their latest achievement and a win over Kashmir.
New Delhi would take Pakistan seriously and regard it a power only if Pakistan wins such tournaments. That is also a kind of Indian fanaticism.
Pakistan needs to give up their usual strategy to throw away wickets by runouts, which is a serious issue for batboys as they are supposed to guard the stumps as their major duty. Failure in doing so would be a serious crime. But ICC and national boards do not talk about it. Batboys need patience and alertness while bowlers apply dotball technique constantly. India does it.
Generally every team closely watches the video chips of matches of opponent teams and studies closely the weakness of batboys and bowlers so that those could be exploited. Pakistan must cultivate that habit. They must know each Indian player in the team thoroughly so that they won’t make mistakes while bating or bowling.
Sarfraz Ahmed admits that the win credit goes to the bowlers and then the batsmen finished really well, chasing down a small total. Rumman bowled very well too.. We decided to adapt to conditions, we knew if Pakistan could restrict India in the range of 150-200 and they could easily chase it. Less runs offered, the better the chances to win.
But now Pakistan has reached the final by defeating a strong England team and India has managed to come to final too by thrashing a pathetically looking Bangladesh.
Indian batboys would hit non-stop if they know the bowlers are going make them shine as Kolhi and Sharma did as Bangladeshi bowlers were throwing ball to the bats and made their stay at crease very comfortable to reach the finals against Pakistan on Sunday.
Can Pakistan repeat the show against India as well? Or would it prefer to follow the Bangla path?
Pakistani batboys and bowlers were not strong enough, but now they are much better and they can certainly beat India if they could contain the first four batboys without offing them any runs. Bowler insistence and patient can get more wickets than offering huge runs. .
Since Pakistan could easily defeat both Sri Lanka and England one after another, it may not be difficult at all for it to let India also taste Pakistani medicine. First, what needed now is a mindset then a proper plan against India which was badly thrashed by Sri Lanka, and meticulous execution.
Pakistan is the favorites of the Trophy 2017!
- This feature was written by the author before Champions Trophy Final